Mankind`s most ferocious, evil foe is striking China again and stoking fear. By engaging the most populous nation in biting battles, the novel coronavirus tests human bonds and challenges the will of the Chinese to serve the world`s common good amid hardship.
The global community has shown love and trust for the oldest continuous civilization, yet doubt and misunderstanding also abound in such emergencies.
By claiming over 300 lives in weeks, this virus carries pernicious effects inferable to SARS that took over 910 lives worldwide in 2003, to the Ebola virus that killed about 11,300 in West Africa between 2013-16, and to seasonal influenza that caused 10,000 deaths in the United States, according to estimates by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
These enemies defy any border, know no gender, race, region, polity or ideology, and target all humans, exposing our limits for mankind`s prolonged war with highly infectious diseases despite modern medical progress.
Unlike any other, 2019-nCoV is more treacherous, hiding under the camouflage of flu and SARS symptoms and luring people into confusion and misjudgment.
The pathogen is more noxiously evolved, embedded with killing skills and savage velocity to spread faster and infect more furtively even during incubation period. It seems to have been wickedly designed to strike at a perfect time－right before Spring Festival, the largest annual migration on our planet.
And this devil is more evil, igniting panic and discrimination and attacking the very basis of global community: air and connectivity. After all it is human-to-human contact that makes our species socially extraordinary.
It is unlucky that China has to withstand another wave of intensive pathogenic assault in merely two decades. China is forced to pay heavy sacrifices. Apart from losing hundreds of lives, thousands are hospitalized in agony, millions are deprived of Spring Festival fetes, joy with kith and kin and the freedom to travel. Stock plunges indicate perils of growth slowdown as its economy struggles with other dogged uncertainties.
Yet the bad luck of China is being translated into the good fortune of the world, simply because China stands up as a responsible power of the global community, making sacrifices without hesitation for the good of human destiny.
Despite early professional mishaps and the habitual lull of local officials, the Chinese people and government have taken decisive action and taken measures more rigorous than demanded by the International Health Regulations.
Its leaders are fully aware that the pains in stopping the virus are not just China`s battles with an invisible monster, but may settle an ageless war with mankind`s long-term foe. Its professionals brave all risks in rushing into wards nearby or thousands of miles away.
The country shares key biological information in a timely manner with the international community, takes comprehensive approaches to prevent further spread, and communicates transparently with fellow nations.
As the World Health Organization concludes in its Jan 30 statement, "The measures China has taken are good not only for that country but also for the rest of the world." Dozens of world leaders and the United Nations also join in sharing one identical message: Believing in China.
Yet discord emerges blaming and demeaning China and certain Chinese groups; calls for undoing air and land interconnectivity with China are not rare; and discriminative labeling of Chinese identity makes it more perplexing for global response.
US economist Paul A. Samuelson defined the "fallacy of composition "as " a fallacy in which what is true of a part is, on that account alone, alleged to be also true of the whole".
It is understandable for each nation to apply self-protection in line with WHO recommendations. But proposals of "shutting the border" to maximize one state-member`s interest may not necessarily immunize itself but will certainly affect public health as a whole.
Besides, cutting travel or trade links with a quarter of the whole population and the world`s largest growth engine, as are warned by some world organizations and economists, can amount to damage or dissection of the global supply chain and affect the livelihoods of billions, if not all.
The truth is all human beings now belong to a community of shared future. Sustaining healthy connectivity means far more than making us more human. The suffering of a neighbor is immediately felt, so caring for others also means caring for the self and cultivating limitless strength against fear.
It demands great wisdom of human beings to win when viruses are unleashed to rip and dissect our connectivity. What the global community needs in hardship is mutual support and multi-sectoral collaboration to defeat the evil and develop virus-resistant cross-border links.
Developed members of this global community can tap their potential in finding solutions to stop secondary transmission, cure the infected and upgrade human links. Members with weaker healthcare systems can review logs of prevention and of recovering patients across Chinese hospitals.
Through the crisis, China is waking up to improve its medical and administrative mechanisms for emergencies. A promising certainty is that soon the Chinese will win the duel with the virus thanks to their experiences in tackling SARS within months and helping Africa stop the Ebola virus, the advantages in massive backup for governance, the vitality of traditional Chinese medicine, their selfless dedication, plus humanitarian love from other peoples.
Each day, more and more people who were seriously ill from the virus in a number of Chinese hospitals reunite with families after beating death. They are living witnesses to President Xi Jinping`s words that China has the confidence to win the battles against this outbreak.
Such gain with pain and sacrifice may be a small step for the Chinese, but a big step for public health services of our species. Holding a belief in China is believing in mankind.
History will prove again that human merit of mutual love prevails over the novel coronavirus, and that China fulfills its mission and honors its role for a better future for mankind.